Delta Ranch: Resilient Structures for the Coast

Project Goals:

This project integrates architecture, coastal bioengineering, and coastal plant science to develop solutions for structures that can sustain themselves and the coast. Specifically, we look to design a habitable structure that utilizes architectural passive sustainable strategies to remediate climatic conditions for habitation, bioengineered oyster reefs for harvest, coastal protection and land building, and coastal plants for coastal protection, land building and to develop a productive ecosystem for the structure.

Project Team:
    • Jori Erdman, AIA, LEED AP Professor, School of Architecture
    • Steven Hall Associate Professor of Biological + Agricultural Engineering
    • Carrie Knott Assistant Professor of Plant, Environmental + Soil Sciences
    • Jim Sullivan Associate Professor of Interior Design
    • Sarah Bertrand
    • Matthew Byrum
    • Logan Harrell

Delta Ranch is the design and modeling of a habitable structure for coastal Louisiana that utilizes ecological systems as the source for its design strategy. The work in each field asks relevant questions:

Architecture: 1) how do the ecological systems of coastal LA provide a model for resilient architecture design; 2) how may a habitable structure leverage the dynamic ecological environment to become sustainable over time?

Bioengineering: 1) what are the growth rates for oyster in a given area; 2) how can a bioengineered oyster reef affect the strength or stability of associated structural elements?

Plant science: 1) what are the growth rates of specific coastal plants in a given area; 2) how do plants provide land building and retention capacity; and 3) how do they affect strength/stability of habitable structures.